(Reuters) - Manchester United defender Luke Shaw believes he has a body type similar to that of the club's former striker Wayne Rooney and said criticism of his body and conditioning was unwarranted.
Shaw has been criticised on multiple occasions by United boss Jose Mourinho and his predecessor Louis van Gaal over perceived weight and fitness issues, with fans and pundits also piling on.
"Of course people can say I'm fat, but I know my own body," Shaw told British media. "I always look big because I'm bigger built and I have, you could say, a Wayne Rooney type of body."
Despite Mourinho's public criticism of Shaw, the England international said the Portuguese manager texted him in the off-season to spur him on.
"It was a breath of fresh air when he texted me," he added. "I wasn't expecting it... I spoke to him and it was really positive. It made me feel confident about the upcoming season."
Shaw has featured in all three of United's pre-season fixtures so far and will be hoping to hold on to his spot when the club play league rivals Liverpool in the International Champions Cup on Saturday.
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)